How to Weed Out Unqualified Applicants

Finding the right person for the job is hard work. Chances are, you receive dozens — if not hundreds — of applications for every opportunity, which can be overwhelming. You’re tasked with narrowing this group down to a small set of top candidates, but doing so isn’t easy.

Adding structure to your selection process will make a world of difference. Here’s some advice to help you zero in on candidates most likely to succeed in the job.

Seek Referrals

Your employees are talented people — and each of them has a network filled with professionals of their caliber. When hiring, reach out to them first to see if they have any candidates to refer. No one wants to let their boss down, so feel confident they’ll only recommend candidates they respect and admire.

The potential to work with people they like is a great incentive for employees to make referrals. However, sweetening the deal by offering a cash bonus for anyone hired — who stays on board for a pre-determined amount of time — can also give people the extra push needed to join in and really take the process seriously.

Base Selection Criteria on Top Employees

The best and brightest people on your team are all unique individuals, but they probably share more common traits than you might realize. Think long and hard about what makes these people both great performers and allows them to work so well together.

Use the characteristics you identified to create a general profile that can serve as a starting point when hiring all new team members. Each job has its own unique requirements, but the standard traits you’ve discovered can help you determine cultural fit, — which is invaluable.

Thoroughly Screen Candidates

Hiring new employees shouldn’t be an overly long-drawn-out process, but it does require a serious time commitment. If you’re making hiring decisions after one interview — or even worse, after they’ve met with just one person — this probably isn’t working so well. Get to know candidates by creating a multi-step screening process.

This might involve a first-round phone interview, an in-person interview with the core team, and a thorough background check. Putting extra effort into hiring right will save you a significant amount of time in the long run.

Don’t Settle

When you needed to hire yesterday, it can be easy to overlook certain things about candidates that would typically cause you to pass on them. While hiring the first seemingly qualified person might help in the short-term, this will ultimately hurt your team. A group of individuals who don’t have the necessary experience to properly do their jobs or the personality to uphold your company culture will send your organization into chaos. It might take a little longer to find the right person for the job, but they’re worth it.

Choosing the best candidate for your team is hard work, so allow the experts to assist. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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